Quick Tips about DUIs to keep in mind this New Year

Rachel Fitch

New Year's Eve is more than just the last day of every year; it is also the holiday with the most arrests made by law enforcement agencies across the United States for suspected drinking and driving or DUI. Since so many people consume alcohol during New Year's Eve as part of their celebrations, law enforcement are more sensitive than usual to any suspicious driving or other behavior.

During this New Year holiday, if you get stopped on suspicion of drunk driving understanding your rights can potentially protect you from incriminating yourself.

Below are your constitutional rights that you must declare when talking to law enforcement officials after being stopped.

  • I am asserting my right to remain silent.
  • I hereby decline to perform any eye or coordination field sobriety tests.
  • I am invoking my right to speak privately by phone with my attorney.
  • I am asserting my right to speak confidentially with my attorney prior to any blood, breath or urine test, unless it will result in undue delay.
  • I am asserting my right to require you to preserve a sample of my blood, breath or urine for independent evaluation and demand that a sample be release for that purpose upon my or my attorney's request.

When you are stopped by law enforcement officials they will likely ask you to take certain field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are supposed to be administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain alleged indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest for DUI. You have the right to refuse certain tests, but may want to take others as the penalty for refusal may result in the suspension of your driver's license even if later the charges are dismissed or you are found innocent of any DUI.

What "tests' do you need to agree to?

  • Do not need to agree to and CAN refuse to take:
    • PBT (Portable Breath Test) (looks like an oversize asthma inhaler)
    • Field Sobriety Test
    • HGN Test (Horizontal Gaze Nistagmus – Penlight test)
  • Do need to AGREE to take or face a suspension of your driver's license:
    • Blood Test
    • Intoxilyzer/Breathalyzer - Breath Test

Owens & Perkins wishes you a happy New Year, but encourages you to plan on how you will arriving and leaving any celebrations that you may be attending this New Year's Eve.

Contact our Scottsdale office at 480.994.6424, if you or a loved one have been stopped and charged with a DUI.


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